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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8264

Senator ABETZ (TasmaniaLeader of the Opposition in the Senate) (10:13): If the package, as the minister asserts, is so good, why is it that Coogee Chemicals is now not going to invest $1 billion in Australia? Why is Australia going to forfeit 150 jobs? Why is Australia going to forfeit $14 billion worth of export earnings? Why is it good for the world environment that Coogee Chemicals goes to China on the back of the govern­ment's policies, where they will be emitting four times the amount of carbon dioxide than they would have been in Australia under the current laws? In the very long speech by the minister none of those issues were actually answered or addressed.

The minister referred in her answer to actual numbers. They are the actual numbers that I have given her—a $1 billion project, 150 jobs and $14 billion worth of potential export earnings being lost to our nation with the perverse result of four times the carbon dioxide emissions into the world's atmos­phere. They are actual numbers. That is what is on the table. All that is going to occur because of the government's carbon tax.

Also, while the minister did talk about all matters coal on Thursday, she did not deal with the issue of why the burning of coal in China will not attract a carbon tax but the burning of coal in Australia will. If we are to believe the minister in relation to all the discussions that have been had over the years about the need for a carbon tax, can she explain why she herself, her leader, her deputy leader and every single Labor candidate at the last election went to that election promising there would be no carbon tax. The minister has not answered any of those questions. I will sit down again now to give the minister the opportunity to actually provide detailed responses to the detailed questions that have been asked rather than just giving her normal 10-minute homily in relation to why anything the opposition says or raises in this space is bad.